RIL seeks image makeover amid renewed talks with BP

Even as it seeks a make-over of its global corporate image, the Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries seems to have re-ignited talks with British Petroleum for a possible stake sale, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources.

The two companies were in talks for BP to buy a stake in RIL's Indian exploration and production assets prior to BP's oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico last year, which embroiled it in an expensive clean-up. An RIL spokesperson said, "Talks with BP are on but are slow."

Meanwhile, it seems that Ambani has big plans for business transformation this year. It has engaged AT Kearney and Booz & Co for this exercise. Sources say the consultancy firms have been asked to suggest ways to make RIL a process driven organisation like Exxon Mobil and Shell.

Ambani wrote to employees on Dhirubhai Ambani's birth anniversary last month and said, "In the context of the growth opportunities and challenges we have in front of us, I would like to accelerate this business transformation effort now - to run it with the same passion with which we deliver capital projects."

Sources say RIL is likely to finalise investment plans of $5 billion for Jamnagar this year. On the anvil is a large cracker as well as expansion of downstream operations. In the oil and gas space, RIL will take a call on building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

An RIL spokesperson maintained ''no comments'' on the reported two-year makeover plan, but industry sources said the company along with its consultants is finalising a $5 billion (R22,500 crore) investment plan that may begin as early as next financial year.